- Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor continue to negotiate a UFC lightweight bout, with the Irishman wanting the fight to take place next month or in December.
- Poirier said McGregor may be determined to fight him because he is a southpaw, and could provide good preparation for a lucrative boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.
- Victory over himself could also force the rematch McGregor covets – a second shot at the UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
- Said Poirier: “I think that’s all creating this perfect storm that he’s coming out in public and saying, ‘Hey, I want to fight Dustin Poirier this year.'”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Dustin Poirier said Conor McGregor wants to fight him because he has the same stance as Manny Pacquiao and it would be good preparation for a potential super fight between the Irishman and the Filipino fighter.
In recent weeks it became increasingly apparent that Poirier and McGregor could soon fight in the UFC, with the Irish striker accepting a lightweight bout against the Louisianan providing it takes place this year.
This would fit a timeline in which McGregor could return to the boxing ring to fight the former eight-weight world champion Pacquiao in 2021, as the two marquee combat athletes are in advanced talks for a mega-money showdown.
While speaking on “The Fight with Teddy Atlas” show on YouTube, Poirier said that fighting him in the Octagon could provide McGregor with solid preparation for Pacquiao as they are both southpaws, meaning they fight in a left-handed stance.
“Going back to why he wants this fight â€¦ I think he’s angling to fight Pacquiao,” Poirier told Atlas, a former ESPN commentator, analyst, and boxing trainer.
“So I don’t know if the UFC wants him to fight one more time before they allow him to fight Pacquiao, or if he just wants to get one more in this year before starting next year with the Pacquiao fight.
“But what better way to do it than another southpaw,” he said. “Maybe he wants to fight a southpaw before he fights another southpaw.”
Victory for McGregor would also push him closer to the Nurmagomedov rematch he covets, Poirier said
Poirier is the No.2-ranked fighter in the lightweight division after the champion Nurmagomedov and No.1 challenger Justin Gaethje.
Nurmagomedov defends his title against Gaethje in the main event of UFC 254 at “Fight Island,” the ongoing combat sports festival in Abu Dhabi, on Saturday, October 24.
Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdelaziz once said that the Dagestan sambo specialist wants McGregor to earn a rematch, and a victory over Poirier could feasibly be enough.
“Khabib, the current world champion, who is about to defend his belt, said if Conor or Tony [Ferguson] fights me or wins, then he’ll give him a title shot, so that’s in the back of [McGregor’s] head, too.
“I think that’s all creating this perfect storm that he’s coming out in public and saying, ‘Hey, I want to fight Dustin Poirier this year.'”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.